Tree shrew ( Tupaia belangeri) as a novel laboratory disease animal model

Zool Res. 2017 May 18;38(3):127-137. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.033.


The tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) is a promising laboratory animal that possesses a closer genetic relationship to primates than to rodents. In addition, advantages such as small size, easy breeding, and rapid reproduction make the tree shrew an ideal subject for the study of human disease. Numerous tree shrew disease models have been generated in biological and medical studies in recent years. Here we summarize current tree shrew disease models, including models of infectious diseases, cancers, depressive disorders, drug addiction, myopia, metabolic diseases, and immune-related diseases. With the success of tree shrew transgenic technology, this species will be increasingly used in biological and medical studies in the future.

Keywords: Animal model; Disease; Transgenic; Tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Metabolic Diseases
  • Neoplasms
  • Tupaia / physiology*
  • Virus Diseases

Grant support

This study was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (81325016, U1602221, 81322038 and U1502222)